What does the change in leadership mean for Lazada?
WITH the median tenure of a CEO in a company being only six years, companies often experience a change in leadership.
Recently, Alibaba owned Southeast Asian e-commerce outfit Lazada appointed its executive director Pierre Poignant as its CEO, replacing Lucy Peng.
Peng, who is a co-founder of Alibaba will maintain her position as executive chairman according to a statement by Lazada announcing the appointment.
Poignant has been with Lazada since 2012 before the platform’s takeover by Alibaba from Rocket Internet.
Peng has been in the role for nine months, succeeding Maximillian Bittner after Alibaba invested an additional US$2 billion in Lazada in March 2018.
Poignant, in the last six years, has held various roles within Lazada, which include a stint as the chief operating officer and oversaw the logistics expansions of the brand, which now boasts of 31 warehouses in six countries.
“The job is not new to me,” Poignant was quoted as saying in a report.
“We are in a very diverse region, in six countries with vastly different consumer base, vastly different landscape. The solution is different in each of these markets,” he added.
Last August, Poignant filled in the newly created role of executive president and refuted any speculation that the appointment is due to some internal issues within the company.
He said, “… obviously, when you bring the two companies with strong cultures together and draw the roadmap for the next three to five years, people can share their ideas and debate, which is quite natural,” and added, “I’m very confident that we have the right team and the right strategy for the future.”
During her term, Peng helped Lazada integrate some of the features from Alibaba’s platform and brought in a wealth of insights in launching other shopping tools including a search-by-image feature provided by the parent company.
Lazada recently announced that it broke its own record and drew some 1.3 billion visitors to its platform during the 11.11 and 12.12 sales, outperforming initial estimates in six countries — Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
In any other company, leadership changes may spell a period of uncertainty and risks, but from the looks of it, this reshuffle at Lazada will neither affect the company’s growth nor its vision.